The ice worm, Mesenchytraeus solifugus, is among a few metazoan species that survive exclusively in glacier ice/snow. In this study, we demonstrate that ice worm adenylate levels [i.e. adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP), ADP and AMP] are maintained at levels well above their mesophilic counterparts, and that their response to temperature change is distinctly opposite, namely, ice worms increase energy levels as temperatures fall. Initially, this response is characterized by a sharp spike in [ATP] and the adenylate energy charge (even at sub-zero temperatures), which is followed by corresponding increases in [ADP] and [AMP] within a few days. These results suggest that ice worms have evolved a compensatory mechanism by which gains in adenylate nucleotides off-set, at least in part, the inherent lethargy and death usually associated with cold temperature.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - A Molecular and Integrative Physiology|
|State||Published - Jan 2004|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology